‘Good-hearted’ labourer, 23, named as man who fell into Thames during arrest and died

·3-min read
A man in his 20s is dead after falling into the River Thames while being arrested by police ( (Greg Balfour Evans/Alamy/PA))
A man in his 20s is dead after falling into the River Thames while being arrested by police ( (Greg Balfour Evans/Alamy/PA))

A man who fell into the River Thames as he was being arrested and died has been named as a “good-hearted” labourer.

Liam Allan, 23, was not handcuffed and entered the London river at 10.30pm on Friday.

Police said they had reports of him arguing with a woman and went to arrest the labourer after an allegation of theft was made.

He was standing on the steps outside Bill’s Kingston restaurant on Riverside Walk when he entered the water.

A search began and his body was found two hours later. He was pronounced dead despite paramedics performing CPR.

Mr Allan’s father, James Allan, said he had been “broken” by his son’s death.

He told MyLondon: “He was just so bubbly. He would talk to anyone. He would do anything for anyone.

“He was a little git sometimes, he was no angel, he had his tellings off, but he had a good heart.

“He would give someone his last pound, and he often did. I was with him in Hounslow once and he gave a homeless bloke some money. Considering he did not have a lot himself.”

His mother posted pictures of Liam as a young man to Facebook, adding: “Can’t believe my beautiful boy is gone”.

His aunt Michelle Cole wrote on Facebook: “Rip Liam you were such a wonderful polite young man with a lot of love around you. Met your friends today and they are all so lovely and I can see how much they all love you. It was so touching seeing all the tributes from your family and friends and I’m very proud to of had you as a nephew.”

His stepmother Leanne added: “The handsome lad I got to call my step son since he was 6 years old. We miss you mate, more than you will ever know We love you unconditionally, always have, always will. We will fight for justice until the bitter end Liam. We are broken, you’ll always be in our hearts.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up in Mr Allan’s memory to help pay for funeral costs.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: “My thoughts, and those of the Metropolitan Police Service, are with the friends and family of the man who has sadly lost his life following this incident.

“I fully appreciate the public will be very concerned. We of course share that concern.

“The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards made an immediate referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct as is protocol in any incident in which a person comes to harm following police contact. We will fully support the IOPC’s investigation.”

The IOPC said: “Officers attended an altercation involving the man, 24, and a woman at around 10.30pm on Friday (26 August).

“They made the decision to arrest the man who then entered the water. He had not been placed in handcuffs.

“The man was recovered from the water at around 12.30am and sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

“IOPC investigators attended the police post-incident procedures to obtain initial accounts from the officers involved.

“We have now begun the process of gathering and reviewing evidence, including footage of the interaction between officers and the man. Our thoughts are with the man’s loved ones and all those affected by his death.”

The Metropolitan Police added in a statement: “At around 10.30pm on Friday 26 August, police on routine patrol were flagged down on Kingston Bridge to a verbal altercation involving a man and a woman who were known to each other. An allegation of theft was made.

“Officers were in the process of arresting the man, believed to be aged in his 20s, when he entered the water. He had not been placed in handcuffs.

“A multi-agency response to locate the man was launched, involving the Met’s Marine Policing Unit, National Police Air Service, London Fire Brigade and the RNLI.

“The man was recovered from the water at around 00.30am and treated by paramedics. Despite their efforts, he was pronounced dead. The man’s family have been informed.”